Ex-BHS boss Chappell found guilty following TPR prosecution

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Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell has been found guilty for failing to provide information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) on three occasions.

"Dominic Chappell failed to provide us with information we had request in connection with our investigation into the sale and ultimate collapse of BHS, despite numerous requests".

Chappell was the majority shareholder in the company that purchased BHS for £1.

The business had a £570 million black hole in its pension fund although Sir Philip has since agreed to pay more than £360 million towards the shortfall.

Chappell was hauled before Brighton Magistrates' Court to answer the allegations.

He intends to appeal against the verdict.

This included information about those involved in the deal as well as transactions involving BHS and Retail Acquisitions after the sale was completed. We feel this case has not been treated fairly and we will look deeply into this'. "This conviction shows that the courts recognise its importance and that anyone who fails to co-operate with our information notices risks getting a criminal record".

The action against Chappell by The Pensions Regulator comes after the high street chain collapsed in April 2016, with the loss of 11,000 jobs and 164 stores.

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The regulator, which has a responsibility to safeguard pensions, moved to protect the savings of 19,000 members.

During the trial, Chappell had attempted to portray himself as a man more sinned against than sinning, claiming that he had wanted to cooperate with the regulator, but that his efforts had been curtailed by a number of factors.

The court heard Chappell's defence lawyer say he was a man who had tried to save the firm (BHS), but was being made a scapegoat for the failings of others.

He said: "This defendant has refused to provide, to the best of his abilities, responses to the section 72s".

The case has been adjourned until 19 February when Chappell will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

It confirmed that the regulator was investigating the health of the company's pension scheme.

The regulator said they requested information from Chappell on three occasions - twice in 2016 and once again a year ago. "TPR's determinations panel is considering evidence submitted by various parties and is expected to be in a position to issue its written determination notice to affected parties in the coming weeks", the regulator's spokeswoman said.

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